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Michael Schmelzer is famous for his Chianti. He's the champion of Panzano, a little village where he and his family have been making wine since the early 2000s under the Monte Bernardi label. Recently, he released a Chianti under the Gioventu name, and it is one of the best best values on the market today (retailing at $16). When we heard that Michael was adding another wine to his Gioventu line up, we were thrilled. We were even more excited to find out it was a skin contact Falanghina from Campania! We couldn't wait to see what this Tuscan master could do with white grapes from Italy's land of volcanoes.
On the nose, there are aromas of sliced yellow apples, swaths of fresh grass, cured lemon, herbaceous chamomile, and the faintest hint of anise. On the palate, there is savory apricot and apple, with a lovely saltiness that drives this wine's long finish. After a few hours open, flavors of clementine and dried banana appear. This is a structurally generous wine, with a plush, tender core and a charming touch of medium acidity.
Michael is a winemaker who continues to innovate. His Gioventu bottlings offer delicious wine for the masses. Despite being so accessible, they are still layered and complex. At this pricepoint, they can't be beat. Stock up! David Hatzopoulos
Gioventu Chianti comes from Michael Schmeltzer, the man behind our beloved Monte Bernardi wines. As expected, this wine is fantastic - worth so much more than the $16 price per bottle. From younger vines (planted in 2010) of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Ciliegiolo. After the grapes are crushed, the wine ferments naturally in cement tanks. Aging in also in cement and lasts 12 months. There is no fining or filtering before bottling. The color of the wine shows a burgundy center, becoming a clearer, burnt red on the edges. The nose is bold, with complex layers of fruit and earth. Aromas of black cherry, dark red flowers, and crushed, loamy rocks are at the core, with spicy, woodsy smells of milled black pepper and autumnal dried leaves right above it. The palate is focused on savory fruits of blackberry, cherry, and red citrus, freshened by a zing of clean minerality. Structure-wise, this wine has power, with long lasting acidity, and tannin on the top of the gums and down the tongue. An incredibly delicious wine! Paired wonderfully with taco truck carnitas and al pastor on day two... David Hatzopoulos
Michael Schmelzer is the incredible winemaker behind the Monte Bernardi wines of Chianti. Recently, he's released a line of sub-$20 bottles from Italy under the Gioventu label. This Falanghina is farmed 120 meters above sea level in Falerno, Campania. Soil here is volcanic in origin. In the cellar the wine sees roughly 4 days on the skins and is fermented with native yeasts. Bottled without fining or filtering. On the nose, there are aromas of sliced yellow apples, swaths of fresh grass, cured lemon, herbaceous chamomile, and the faintest hint of anise. On the palate, there is savory apricot and apple, with a lovely saltiness that drives this wine's long finish. After a few hours open, flavors of clementine and candied banana appear. This is a structurally generous wine, with a plush, tender core and an even touch of medium acidity. David Hatzopoulos